Bullying Awareness Month (October 2013)
Every year PACER hosts the National Bullying Prevention Month. This month brings awareness to what bullying does to people in a community. The months’s mantra is “The End of Bullying Begins with Me.” Everyone should take to heart and live by this phrase. It can change someone’s life just to approach them when they’re alone and smile. It doesn’t matter if people think you’re uncool for talking to someone who doesn’t ﬁt in, because in the long run you’ll know you’ve made a difference.
One of this month’s purposes is to remind people that bullying doesn’t have to be physical. Bullying takes many shapes and sizes. To bully can be to isolate, laugh at, hurt physically, say hurtful things, talk behind people’s backs, name-call, or post hurtful things online. It’s also important to note that bullying isn’t always intentional. Harsh or offensive words may be overheard by someone struggling with a problem we don’t know about. With comments like these we can crush spirits.
Bullying is nothing to take lightly; every year over 32 million students are on the receiving end. Tolerable amounts of bullying simply do not exist. I myself have been told that they do! There are people who are cut down beyond belief by bullying until they can’t handle it anymore. A whole community is affected by a suicide or suicide attempt.
A new part of National Bullying Prevention Month this year is the “To This Day,” a spoken rhythmical poem written by Shane Koyczan. It tells the heartbreaking story of his and others’ experiences childhood bullying. To this day, those featured in the poem still feel deep pain and suffering associated with the traumatic time they survived. To these people, their bullying was never “just fun and games,” as some have been known to dismiss the severity of bullying.
The statistics are terrifying. A shocking 1 out of 4 teens are bullied and 1 out of 10 will drop out of school because they can’t handle it. 9 out of 10 LGBT students are harassed, and over 160,000 students stay home every day because they’re to afraid to return to school. 1 out of every 3 students has heard another threaten to kill him or herself. Adult intervention in these moments is 4% and peer intervention is 11%. It’s tragic that someone can forget who they are
In many cases, all a victim needs to lift him or her out of a dark place is a single friend to ask him or her how it’s going. It’s time to take action and stand up because no one should be alone. For more information visit the sites below. And if you ever need someone to talk to, I’m all ears. The pain stops now.